Stress is a normal part of life, we all feel stressed from time to time.
In fact, stress can help motivate you to get things done.
But sometimes day-to-days activities seem really overwhelming. As you are exhausted and it's hard to find motivation to tackle your day.
And some days adding another thing to your to-do-list just seems like too much.
You feel on edge and depleted.
And your nervous system is working in overdrive ... your heart races, your chest is tight, its hard to slow down your breathing.
You feel like you are too busy to slow down. Too busy to reflect. Too busy to rest.
You miss doing the things that set your soul on fire.
Deep down, when you are being honest with yourself, you know you need to be intentional about taking care of yourself. But on the same hand, it feels like a waste of time and that you could be tackling your to-do-list.
That's the day to day stresses. There's also larger stresses that can make life feel hard sometimes ... a sick family member, money concerns, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced, family issues, social injustices, or any other major life transition. These can all be very stressful, leaving you feel like you don't have any control.
And often times with the busyness of it all, you may feel like you don't have time for therapy to figure out how to feel better.
But stress is your body's way of saying sometime needs your attention and something needs to change.
Signs your Stress Level is too high
It's easy for your stress level to sneak up on you.
Stress slowly builds up over time and then next thing you know you are feeling overwhelmed, on edge, and depleted.
Stress can impact your overall wellness, leading to changes in your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Here are some common signs that your stress may be too high and that it may be time for you to take some steps to cope with the stress in your life:
Emotional symptoms such as feeling moody, irritable, frustrated, angry, anxious, or overwhelmed
Mental signs such as constant worrying, negative self talk, difficulty focusing and concentrating, making poor decisions, difficulty making decisions, or memory problems
Physical symptoms such as headaches, racing heart rate, muscle tension, frequent illness, chronic aches and pains, digestive problems, changes in menstrual cycle, changes in weight, elevated blood pressure
Spirit such as not taking the time to breath, slow down, or do things that you enjoy doing
Behavioral signs such as trouble sleeping or staying asleep, changes in eating habits, avoiding the stressor, decrease in productivity, missing deadlines, decrease in self care, or using alcohol or drugs to cope
Fight. Flight. Freeze.
When you are under a lot of stress, your body's nervous system perceives a threat and gets kicked into overdrive. This leads to the fight or flight or freeze response.
Your brain tells your body to prepare for the stress. You can either fight the stress head on. You can flee or run from the stress. Or, your body freezes and you are unable to do anything.
This is an evolutionary response to help you survive and to keep you safe.
But constantly being in a state of fight, flight, or freeze from on-going stress can leave you feeling exhausted, drained, and on edge. Your brain and body are constantly working in over-drive to keep you safe.
The way you respond to stress impacts your health and wellness.
Let's work together to find some ways to calm your nervous system and help you manage your stress.
Therapy Can Help Stress
Even though you may feel like your schedule is too jam packed to fit in an hour of therapy, therapy creates an intentional space to help you feel calm.
Counselling can help you understand how your stressors impact your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. It can also help you understand how your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health impact your stress levels. Stress and health have a reciprocal relationship. They both impact each other and your overall wellness.
Therapy can also help you shift your mindset so you become stronger and more resilient when dealing with stressful situations. Stress is stressful, but if you shift your perspective about stress, it can be manageable. Counselling can be a chance to learn, grow, and move forward when life throws stresses at you.
We live in a society that applauds busyness, but yet that standard is wreaking havoc on our nervous systems.
Counselling is an opportunity to work collaboratively with a psychologist to see what helps you to feel rested, restored, and relaxed.
Finding adaptive strategies that work for you is essential to having more calm and tranquil moments.
Therapy will help you to reflect on what self care and wellness looks like for you. It helps you to be intentional about what you need and how you can achieve it.
Let's get you back to being balanced, rooted, and centered.